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A Study of Asian Students' Perceptions of Learning Strategies and Related Issues in UK Based Higher Education Institutions

Bakar, A. (2013) A Study of Asian Students' Perceptions of Learning Strategies and Related Issues in UK Based Higher Education Institutions. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

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Abstract

Research on the experiences of East Asian students‘ learning in the UK is growing because a large number of Chinese origin students come to Britain for higher education (HE). In recent years the number of South Asian students from India and Pakistan has also significantly increased. The current research focus on approaches to learning as means to develop independent learning (IL) is not often dealt with in depth in literature. This study examines how Asian students with English as a second language successfully transform their approaches to learning from a traditional learning background into IL skills. It probes both the academic and cultural issues of Chinese, Indian and Pakistani students in British HE institutions, from their own perceptions using a qualitative approach, by examining the inherent challenges between prior learning patterns in the home country and the necessary development of IL skills in the UK. Data was obtained from twenty nine in-depth interviews, questionnaires (66 responses) and personal narratives giving student accounts of the UK learning process; their prior and current educational experience and the closer link that is established in relation to the realisation of the difference in IL and teacher-centeredness. Using Grounded Theory (GT), this thesis conceptualises that IL skills are critical for academic success, and both language and IL skills are vital for adjustment in the UK higher education. Adequate academic writing and communication skills are part of this, and various support strategies are needed to enhance the process of IL. My research contributes to the literature by highlighting the challenges Asian student face in developing IL. Thus, the current theoretical understanding presents some previously-ignored aspects of major learning theories which do play a helpful part in understanding the successful UK independent learning experience of Asian students. The study – adding perspectives of non-Confucian Heritage Culture students to existing studies finds that overall Asian students share a similar learning history of teacher-centeredness and hence face issues of the same identical nature which originate largely from their prior learning experiences of dependency. Despite these difficulties, student Research on the experiences of East Asian students‘ learning in the UK is growing because a large number of Chinese origin students come to Britain for higher education (HE). In recent years the number of South Asian students from India and Pakistan has also significantly increased. The current research focus on approaches to learning as means to develop independent learning (IL) is not often dealt with in depth in literature. This study examines how Asian students with English as a second language successfully transform their approaches to learning from a traditional learning background into IL skills. It probes both the academic and cultural issues of Chinese, Indian and Pakistani students in British HE institutions, from their own perceptions using a qualitative approach, by examining the inherent challenges between prior learning patterns in the home country and the necessary development of IL skills in the UK. Data was obtained from twenty nine in-depth interviews, questionnaires (66 responses) and personal narratives giving student accounts of the UK learning process; their prior and current educational experience and the closer link that is established in relation to the realisation of the difference in IL and teacher-centeredness. Using Grounded Theory (GT), this thesis conceptualises that IL skills are critical for academic success, and both language and IL skills are vital for adjustment in the UK higher education. Adequate academic writing and communication skills are part of this, and various support strategies are needed to enhance the process of IL. My research contributes to the literature by highlighting the challenges Asian student face in developing IL. Thus, the current theoretical understanding presents some previously-ignored aspects of major learning theories which do play a helpful part in understanding the successful UK independent learning experience of Asian students. The study – adding perspectives of non-Confucian Heritage Culture students to existing studies finds that overall Asian students share a similar learning history of teacher-centeredness and hence face issues of the same identical nature which originate largely from their prior learning experiences of dependency. Despite these difficulties,students are able to develop IL skills. The development of IL is however a transitional process which becomes apparent with both an inclusive institutional involvement. The study recommends andragogical strategies, appropriate support strategies; and adopting a multi-ethnic approach towards a socio-cultural adjustment journey in students‘ own personal capacity. In order to develop IL, students must not only develop language skills by adopting a multi-ethnic approach towards socio-cultural adjustment but also a range of approaches to learning, and developing the ability to think independently about the relative topics studied; all which have clear implications in relation to successful IL experience.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the University of Worcester Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education April 2013
A copy of the print edition is held on Level 4 at The Hive.

Uncontrolled Keywords: Asian students, independent learning, IL skills, Higher Education, Higher Education institutions
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2015 16:11
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2015 09:26
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3584

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